WORKSHOP: Reconciling Conservation and Development Tensions around Protected Areas and Developing a Restoration Toolkit for Protected Areas in China
The most useful method to achieve conservation is to make biodiversity benefit from communities and communities benefit from conservation
Professor Lv Zhi, Beijing University
Protected Areas are designed to provide a stronghold for biodiversity, but their effectiveness is often comprised by competing development needs. Protected Area managers and decision makers need to reconcile conservation and local development to build a strong community basis for nature conservation and ecosystem restoration, while also supporting local livelihoods. To discuss these issues, a virtual workshop was recently hosted by Tsinghua University and the PROGREEN team, and attended by some of the most highly­‑regarded and well­-published experts the field.
The workshop was an opportunity to present recent Tsinghua University research, which found that almost 10% of China’s terrestrial land is subject to conservation and development land use conflicts, mostly in the southern and eastern parts of the country where there is a higher population density. Around Qianjiang Source National Park, for example, approximately 6% of territory is subject to human-wildlife conflict, and in the Giant Panda, Qilian Mountain, and Sanjiangyuan National Parks, 10% of land is facing degradation from natural and human impact.

The workshop and associated research are funded by a PROGREEN grant to support knowledge generation for improving China’s National Parks and Protected Area Management. All workshop participants endorsed the value of the research and recommendations for the next phase, where the Tsinghua University team is expected to start field work in five national parks to dive deeper into these challenging issues.
Burundi contributes less than 0.02 % to global greenhouse gas, but remains one of the most vulnerable countries to climate hazards, compounded with environmental degradation and conflict risks.

The PROGREEN-funded Burundi climate and fragility ASA (2021-22) assessed the country’s multi-hazard exposure level, socioeconomic vulnerability extent, and its lack of coping capacity to withstand and recover from climate impacts. The analysis identified and ranked collines for climate resilience investment based on their overall climate risk score, hazard exposure, vulnerability, and lack of coping capacity dimensions. 
The Chaco and Yungas regions of Argentina account for 68% of the country’s forests. Yet these areas also have the highest rate of deforestation, with 90% of the country’s deforestation occurring in the region between 2007 and 2018. 

In collaboration with the Government of Argentina, PROGREEN is working to improve forest and landscape management, increase community livelihoods, and build the resilience of conservation and production landscapes through the Production and Conservation Landscapes in Northern Subtropical Forests Project. The challenges to accomplishing these tasks, however, are numerable, including poor infrastructure, limited capacity, knowledge, and data to manage vulnerable ecosystems and adapt to climate threats, and the fact that local livelihoods depend on the unsustainable extraction of vulnerable resources, with little incentive or opportunity to change. 

PROGREEN is tackling these issues with on-ground and analytical support, by financing capacity building and research studies on resilient landscape management, climate risk knowledge gaps, building low-carbon infrastructure, and promoting green jobs. One example includes a recent study on rural poverty and sustainable landscapes, which surveyed over 1,300 people. Results found that 64% of participants use forest land outside their property for productive purposes, with approximately half using it for crop production. Soil conservation practices are used by almost 20% of survey participants, most commonly: crop rotation, no tillage, and strip cropping. Over 80% of those not using soil conservation practices cited there being no need or benefit to doing so. Understanding how land is used is critical knowledge for sustainable land management and studies such as these provide valuable information for the targeting, designing and implementing sustainable land use programs and policy. 
The Oasis Landscape Management Project: A Multi-Country Program in North Africa

Asked to imagine an oasis ecosystem and most people visualize exotic pockets of lush vegetation amongst an arid and unforgiving environment thank invoke feelings of refuge and relief. But these landscapes also play a crucial role in regulating the climate and providing a wide range of valuable ecosystem services, such as maintaining water cycles. In Morocco and Tunisia, healthy oases are particularly important for protecting against desertification, floods, and soil erosion.  

Working across both countries, The PROGREEN-funded Multi-Country Oasis Landscape Management Program is supporting sustainable and climate resilient activities to restore and improve oasis ecosystem services. This means encouraging a more holistic and comprehensive approach to protecting oasis landscapes for people and the environment. Working with local and national decision-makers, development partners, non-government and civil society organizations, and the private sector, the program is expected to improve management, increase land area under restoration, and share sustainable practices with land users. Key beneficiaries of co-financing initiatives will include vulnerable households in oasis communities, producers’ groups, grass-roots associations, and small and medium entrepreneurs. 
PROGREEN will also seek to strengthen cross-border ties, by supporting the transfer of lessons and good practices between the countries, as well as coordination and convening of countries and development partners. 
This project will promote integrated land use planning and agro-sylvo-pastoral investments in rural municipalities to reduce competition over natural resources, strengthen social cohesion, improve food security and household income, and address climate change. Using a community-driven approach and empowering municipalities to execute project investments, the project addresses drivers of fragility and conflict by promoting equitable access to natural resources through good governance at the local level.

The project also promotes private entrepreneurship for the sustainable development of value chains. Key outcomes include: (i) 1 million ha of land under sustainable management; (ii) 1.75 million people with increased benefits from natural resources, including vulnerable populations (women, transhumant pastoralists, the internally displaced); and (iii) 14 million tons of CO2 sequestered during the Project’s lifetime. The Project builds on the successful experience of the Decentralized Forest and Woodland Management Project (DFWMP) (P143993), financed by the Climate Investment Funds. 
This project aims to increase the area under sustainable landscape management and promote Uzbekistan’s collaboration with other Central Asian countries on transboundary landscape restoration. Through tree-based landscape restoration interventions in degraded transboundary biological corridors, the Project will contribute to increased resilience of landscapes, food systems, people and infrastructure, while at the same time provide short-term and medium-term job opportunities through a green-wager program, creation of natural resource management-based SMEs, and investments in nature-based tourism and protected areas.

This is the third operation under the World Bank Central Asia Resilient Landscape Restoration (RESILAND CA+) Umbrella Regional Program, to which PROGREEN contributes alongside regional IDA resources and The Korea- World Bank Partnership Facility (KWPF). 
Enabling a Whole-of-Society Approach to Tackle Climate and Conflict Risks in Burundi

June 1, 2022
This Webinar presented cutting-edge methods used to map climate, environmental and fragility risk hotspots, as well as the findings of the Burundi climate and fragility Advice and Analytics study, including recommendations for Nature-Based Solutions and analytical gaps for future assessments. The session also highlighted successful collaboration across World Bank Global Practices, and encouraged adopting a whole-of-society approach among investment operations
In May, PROGREEN participated in the XV World Forestry Congress in Seoul. Hosted by the Government of the Republic of Korea, the Congress provided a crucial opportunity for the global forest community to ensure that forests are an integral part of discussions and decisions on sustainable development for 2023 and beyond, including the global COVID-19 recovery. PROGREEN participated in several sessions and speaking engagements, most notably:
Satellite Monitoring for Forest Management 

May 2, 2022

This event examined innovations in technical solutions to monitor changes in tropical dry forests. Additionally, it launched a discussion on how capacity constrained forest administrations can enhance decision making, budgeting and capacity building by tapping into opportunities provided by new information technology and improved access to data.
Transformative Programs for Forest Conservation
and Restoration

May 4, 2022

This event looked at how the World Bank Group supports governments in taking action to respond to forest loss and land degradation. Drawing on expertise from PROGREEN, the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, and BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes, and showcasing results from Mozambique and Ghana, the session demonstrated how countries are supported in their efforts to meet forest and climate commitments through programs that combine complimentary interventions with financing tools to deliver results at scale. 
New Tools on PROGREEN website
We have been busy making changes to the website. The Reports and Publications page is getting a revamp and we will soon have a brand new Tools section, where users will be able to explore tools for issues such as managing ecosystems, sustainable agriculture, and supporting industry.
Balancing forest conservation and other land uses to reduce degradation and achieve economic growth requires collaboration and informed action. Read how PROGREEN is helping to make this happen.
In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8th, PROGREEN and FOLUR hosted a webinar on empowering women in a wide range of ‘Green’ projects and programs. The webinar showcased examples of gender-transformative project/program actions, including an innovative approach using the W+ Standard to measure and monetize women’s empowerment outcomes.

The W+ Standard was created by Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN) to measure project and program-related women’s empowerment outcomes. The W+ Standard provides a certification for projects or programs that generate increased social and economic benefits for women. These benefits can be in the form of time and labor-saving mechanisms, improved renewable energy technologies, increased leadership and/or income from the participation in forest and agriculture activities.

Header: fotystory / Shutterstock
Costa Rica: Raul Cole/Shutterstock
Kyrgyz Republic: Michal Knitl.
Argentina: tilialucida/Shutterstock